Sudan : UN Resolution adopted on situation in Sudan

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During its 45th Ordinary session, held from 14 September to 7 October 2020, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted the Resolution A/HRC/RES/45/25 on 6 October 2020 on Technical assistance and capacity-building to further improve human rights in Sudan.

This resolution results in the termination of the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan created in 1993 , and redefines the Council’s focus on the situation in this country by assigning to the new office of the Office of the High Commissioner Office for Human Rights (OHCHR) the mandate of monitoring and reporting on progress and challenges in Sudan, including the work of the country office and its field presences.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member organisations in Sudan, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) and Sudan Human Rights Monitor (SHRM), welcome this resolution that keeps Sudan on the HRC agenda, and thank the Independent Expert (IE) for his work on the human rights situation in Sudan.

Since the fall of the former regime and the establishment of transitional authorities in Sudan, our organisations have actively engaged in Sudan, including in the fight against impunity for serious violations committed in Darfur . Ahead of the September session, our organisations engaged with key actors at the HRC level in June 2020, notably by organising a remote event for human rights defenders to provide an update on the human rights situation to the diplomatic community in Geneva and to explore the future of the Independent Expert mandate. We also co-signed a joint NGO letter and made an oral intervention during the dedicated debate on Sudan at HRC45, in which were highlighted the need for the HRC to provide further assistance to the transitional authorities and to ensure continued public debates, in particular by mandating the OHCHR to monitor and report on the human rights situation in the country.

While the resolution acknowledges that the human rights situation in the Sudan has significantly improved and underlines progresses made in that respect, our organisations would like to highlight that major challenges remain. Structural drivers of the conflict in Darfur needs to be fundamentally addressed, as well as accountability for serious human rights violations committed including on the 3rd June 2019 massacre and in Darfur, and the cooperation with the International Criminal Court enhanced.

In 1993, an Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan was created by the Human Rights Council, as per its special procedures. Its mandate was to monitor the human rights situation in Sudan, as well as provide technical assistance and capacity-building to Sudan. In 2019, the Sudanese transitional authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OHCHR, which has led to the establishment of an OHCHR country office with field presences. In replacement of the Independent Expert mandate, and to answer the concerns of civil society organisations, the new resolution introduces a monitoring and reporting mandate for the High Commissioner to the HRC. The High Commissioner is to prepare a written report for HRC48 (Sept 2021) and to present it during an enhanced interactive dialogue under item 10.

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